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Writing Explanations
If you have an interest in science, you will probably be familiar with explanation books.

Writing Explanations

This KS2 English quiz will challenge you on writing explanations. Writing explanations are statements that make clear something by describing it in detail. Some of the most popular non-fiction books in school libraries are the explanation books. People love reading books that explain how, why, where, when and what. Explanations are perfect for those who are always asking questions.

If you have an interest in science, you will probably be familiar with explanation books. It's one thing to read explanations, but how good are you at writing explanations?

See if you understand how explanations are different from other types of writing by trying this English quiz.

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Which of the following would be an example of an explanatory (explanation) text?
A novel.
A book of poetry.
A manual on how to look after your bike.
A book on how a bike works.
Next time you are reading a piece of writing, look out for any explanatory text.
Which of the following connectives would you NOT find in an explanation?
After that, next, the following spring.
Furthermore, moreover, in conclusion.
First, then, finally.
Because, so, as a result.
'Furthermore', 'moreover' and 'in conclusion' would be used in an argument, but not in an explanation.
What is the purpose of an explanation?
To explain how something works.
To explain natural phenomena (such as a tornado).
To explain a social process (such as the legal system).
All of the above.
Explanations have many purposes.
What should the introduction include?
It should introduce the subject.
It should give instructions for how to read the rest of the explanation.
It should tell a mystery story.
It should tell the reader how long it will take to read the whole explanation.
The introduction can also mention the most important key words and define them.
In an explanation about how a lava lamp works, which tense would you use?
None of the above
Most explanations are written in the present tense, although it is sometimes possible to use the past (giving an example from the past) or the future (explaining what will happen next).
Explanations are written in ____
first person.
second person.
third person.
first person and second person.
We have a KS2 English quiz called 'First, Second and Third Person' if you want to refresh your memory on the differences.
You would use a glossary for ____
listing the page number where each subject is mentioned.
giving the title and the name of the author.
listing the contents of the explanation.
defining specialist vocabulary.
A glossary gives the meanings of words.
Which of these questions could NOT be answered by an explanation?
Should pupils have to wear school uniform?
What causes the tides?
Why do penguins have wings?
How does a computer work?
If the question was 'Why should pupils have to wear a school uniform?' this could be answered by an explanation.
Why are illustrations, diagrams and charts used in explanations?
They help the reader understand how to follow the instructions.
They add extra information, which helps the reader understand the explanation.
They are only there to entertain the reader.
They are never used in explanations.
If you are asked to write an explanation, remember to use any or all of these in your work.
Which of the following would NOT be a suitable title for an explanation?
How do meteorologists forecast the weather?
How to make an alpine garden.
How do lava lamps work?
Why do bears hibernate?
'How to make an alpine garden' would be a set of instructions.


Author:  Sheri Smith

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